Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Birds cruise but lose DJax

Updating: This game is over, a 31-17 Eagles victory in which Kevin Kolb threw for 326 yards, completing 23 of 29 passes for a 133.6 passer rating. QB controversy? Sure, why not.

Birds cruise but lose DJax

Updating: This game is over, a 31-17 Eagles victory in which Kevin Kolb threw for 326 yards, completing 23 of 29 passes for a 133.6 passer rating. QB controversy? Sure, why not.

The whole losing DeSean Jackson to a probable concussion biz kind of takes a little shine off, though.

Earlier: Kevin Kolb just bombed the Falcons back out of contention again; it's 28-10. An end-around fake to Jason Avant on second and 13 from the Eagles' 17 suckered the corner on the offense's left side, and Jeremy Maclin was all alone deep. Maclin caught it at the Atlanta 40 and cruised to the end zone, safety Thomas DeCoud chasing to not avail. Eighty-three-yard TD.

Kolb is 18 for 23 for 257 yards, 3 touchdowns and a deflected pick. His passer rating is 134.7. Maclin has 6 catches for 152 yards and 2 TDs.

Earlier: Atlanta's offense definitely has come to life, driving 65 yards in 14 plays for a 26-yard Matt Bryant field goal that cut the Eagles' lead to 21-10. A touchdown would have been a bigger deal, but still, they're hanging around.

Eagles' offense, without DeSean Jackson, might be featuring a bit too much Chad Hall.

Earlier: The Falcons clearly weren't going to score on their own, so the Eagles helped them. First and 10 from the Falcons' 37, looking for at least a David Akers field goal to cap off an excellent half, Kevin Kolb's throw to Brent Celek was tipped in the air by Curtis Lofton, batted around until it landed in the hands of  safety William Moore.

Kolb chased Moore to the Falcons'sideline, where in a desperate attempt to bring Moore down, Kolb got a hand inside Moore's shoulder pad-neck opening. The officials decided to go with an extremely generous interpretation of the "horse collar tackle" rule, and Atlanta was in business at the Eagles' 31. After an equally generous pass interference call against Joselio Hanson, who was jousting with Harry Douglas, and seemed to be getting pushed as much as he was pushing, the Falcons were set up with a first down at the 1, and on second down, they finally scored, Matt Ryan hitting Tony Gonzalez. Eagles lead 21-7 at the half.

Kolb is 16 for 20 -- 80 percent -- for 169 yards, 2 TDs and the tipped INT. Jeremy Maclin has five catches in the first half, for 69 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles are 4 for 6 on third down conversions.

Earlier: With DeSean Jackson down, the Eagles got a 44-yard punt return from Jorrick Calvin, and they then moved 34 yards in 7 plays to take a 21-0 lead. Kevin Kolb found Jeremy Maclin on third and 7 from the 8 for the TD.

Kolb is 11 for 14 for 130 yards and 2 TDs.

Earlier: A lovely Eagles afternoon suddenly took an ugly turn, on third and 6 from the Falcons' 32. Kevin Kolb, desperate to avoid a sack that would have taken the Birds out of field goal range, flipped a high pass to DeSean Jackson across the middle. Jackson got his hands on it, but as he came down, he was separated from the ball, and, apparently, his senses, by a helmet-to-chin hit from Dunta Robinson. Both players went down immediately and did not get up.

Crowds gathered around each man as they lay, a few feet from one another, near the Falcons' sideline. Eventually, both were helped to their feet and walked off the field, supported by a trainer at each shoulder. They disappeared down their respective tunnels. The Eagles announced that Jackson has a "head injury" and will not return.

He was poised to have a breakout day, having run for one touchdown, from 34 yards, and having caught a 34-yard TD strike for the other Eagles score.

Earlier: The Eagles just scored again, 6 plays, 69 yards, the final 34 yards of it straight down the middle on the touchdown strike from Kevin Kolb to DeSean Jackson. That ought to calm down the Kolb-can't-get-the-ball-to-DJax hysteria for a while. Jackson has two end-around runs, and the Birds got 5 yards and a first down from little Chad Hall, lined up in the backfield. Everything their offense is doing is working. Falcons have already given up their season average point total for a game. They don't look like a 4-1 team.

Earlier: The Eagles got a third-down sack from Stewart Bradley on the first series of the game, then crisply moved 53 yards in just two plays to tacke a 7-0 lead. Kevin Kolb hit Jeremy Maclin for 22 yards, then DeSean Jackson scampered 31 yards around left end for the score.

Earlier: It's a lovely day down at the sports complex.Traffic is a little tricky and is only going to get worse, with Phils-Giants Game 2 coming up this evening. As expected, Michael Vick is the Eagles' third quarterback today, meaning if he plays before the fourth quarter, neither Kevin Kolb nor Mike Kafka can reenter the game. That would seem to be a moot point, since the idea behind making Vick third is to not use him this week, unless there is a dire emergency.

It also isn't surprising that rookie wideout Riley Cooper is inactive, giving Chad Hall his second shot at playing in the NFL, his first at home in the Linc. Cooper has passed concussion testing, but he missed Thursday's practice with a headache, though he returned Friday.

Rookie corner Trevard Lindley, whose interception with 28 seconds left sealed last week's win at San Francisco, also is inactive, in favor of returner-corner Jorrick Calvin. Starting left tackle Jason Peters (knee) and starting defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (elbow) were ruled out previously. Joining them are brand-new running back Jerome Harrison, rookie linebacker Keenan Clayton and rookie tight end Clay Harbor.

Third-round rookie DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim is active for the first time. Te'o-Nesheim can play inside, where the Birds have only three active DTs, in the wake of Bunkley's injury. The team never did bring Jeff Owens up from the practice squad.

Stay tuned.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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